Theodore Downing

Research Professor, Social Development
Department of Research, Innovation, and Impact

Theodore (Red) Downing is Research Professor of Social Development at the University of Arizona and has been on the faculty since 1971. He has taught in Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford.

Ted’s academic work has been punctuated by extended, often lengthy applied research endeavors in a dozen third-world countries, focusing on improving socio-economic opportunities for powerless peoples.  His accomplishments include:

  • improving institutions that provide for the consent of the governed and participatory development;
  • leading a Mexican scientific team to combat a plague threatening their small coffee producers;
  • founding – with other leading professionals,  the International Network on Displacement and Resettlement (INDR)
  • being elected President of the (international) Society for Applied Anthropology by his peers
  • serving as the Ranking Minority on both the House Education and the House Higher Education Committee in the Arizona State Legislature.
  • developing the first university environmental training program in Saudi Arabia;
  • and advising The World Bank’s Chief Social Policy Advisor, Dr. Michael Cernea, for over 20 years.

Ted Downing has been a consultant on socio-economic development issues for the International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, and the Board of The World Bank (as an investigator for their Inspection Panel). Most of these endeavors have been supported by 43 years of collaboration with his wife and best friend, Carmen Garcia.